Plan the overall look of an animated movie.
What does an Animation Production Designer do?
The Animation Production Designer is responsible for the finished “look” of an entire animated film. This job is to animation as that of a Production Designer is to a live-action film: The Animation Production Designer interprets the script into a visual and develops the background setting for the story. To do this you concurrently illustrate the narrative, and help the film’s Director to realize their vision.
If you’re an Animation Production Designer, you will collaborate very early on with the Director to pin down what they want the story to look like, and then work with the Producer and perhaps even a third-party client to figure out the budget, the technical and artistic resources available to you, and the timeline for production.
As these meetings progress, you start pitching designs that work well with the script and the most likely, eventual form of animation. For this, you work in 2D, no matter what the final version is in.
Your input may stop at this point, or, if you are working on a smaller job, you may continue on as an Art Director, Character Designer, or some kind of creative head of the project. You may also be commissioned to come up with just a few key elements for the design of the project; it will vary greatly from job to job.